Legal / Lawyers

new Laws for corporations in costa rica A Complete Guide to Opening up a Corporation in Costa Rica

Many expats coming to live or invest in Costa Rica decide or receive advice that creating a corporation is the best way to operate and protect their investment here. There are numerous reasons why they decide to proceed with that, but establishing a business, opening a bank account, or obtaining asset protection seem to be the most common ones. The initial process of a creating a new corporation i...

Immigration Costa Rica, Expats, Americans, Canadians How COVID-19 Changed The Residency Process in Costa Rica

By Laura Gutierrez of Immigration Help Costa Rica Happy New Years Everyone Costa Rica Entry Requirements… For entry requirements and recently announced new restrictions within Costa Rica, please click on the links below and also read part one "How COVID-19 Changed Costa Rica Immigration in the Eyes of Residency Expert Laura Gutierrez" a recently published article on December 29th. You ...

Costa Rica Therapeutic Abortion Ministry of Health in Costa Rica Approves Protocol for Therapeutic Abortion

The Ministry of Health of Costa Rica informed the Social Security Service (CCSS) that the “Protocol of clinical attention for the medical procedure related to article 121 of the Criminal Code: therapeutic interruption of pregnancy”, has been approved. The protocol, as stated in the Executive Decree, standardizes the actions in the health services network of the different professionals (OBGYNs...

Crazy Jungle Love: Who Stole 16 Million Dollars of Ann Benders Jewels in Costa Rica

On January 8, 2010, the Red Cross received an emergency call for a dead American in Florida de Baru. The ambulance driver who was first on the scene described walking into John Bender’s bedroom and seeing “a blanket of jewels”, both cut and uncut, strewn about the bedroom and stuffed loosely into backpacks – over 3,000 jewels in total. What has happened to them all? When the police arrived at t...

Costa Rica Real Estate Law Important New Lot Segregation Laws in Costa Rica

All owners of real estate property with a size greater than 900 square meters (almost 10,000 square feet) who want to segregate lots, could find themselves with an unpleasant surprise as of  September 13th 2020. This is because the National Institute of Housing and Urbanism or INVU made an amendment to the Regulation of Fractions and Urbanizations, with which to carry out said segregations of lots...

Costa Rica 5Dimes 5Dimes Sportsbook in Costa Rica Agrees to Forfeit $46.8 Million to Avoid Criminal Charges

United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that the internet sports betting company, 5D Holdings Ltd. (operating under the unincorporated brand name, “5Dimes”) and Costa Rican Laura Varela, have agreed to forfeit more than $46.8 million in gambling proceeds as part of a settlement agreement in a criminal investigation into 5Dimes’ sports betting operation based in Costa Rica that allowed ...

Costa Rica, Property Fraud Property Fraud in Costa Rica Gains Major Steam due to COVID-19

Coronavirus has created a true health crisis around the world. Most governments do not seem to be clear about the best way to tackle this problem; and the imposition of different types of restrictions on free transit, commerce, and tourism,  has been the general rule adopted. These restrictions have a negative effect on the economy, causing the loss of jobs, the disappearance of companies, the clo...

Costa rica Tourism Covid-19 Americans with Costa Rican Residency File Habeas Corpus After Being Denied Entry to the Country

Three American citizens with Costa Rican residency filed a Habeas Corpus recourse (through which a person reports unlawful detention) against the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate of Migration after they were denied entry to the country on August 6th when they flew back to the country from Houston, Texas aboard a repatriation flight. A US national with Permanent Residency, who is m...

Legal Laws You Never Knew the Costa Rica Government Implemented During COVID-19

The current health crisis has brought many changes in the life, economy, and routine of people, both in Costa Rica and around the world. It has also brought legal changes ranging from driving restrictions on certain days and hours of the week to the banning/limiting operation for bars, hotels, theaters and event centers, among many others. The Government and Congress have taken actions, some where...

Costa Rica LGBTI Rights Same Sex Marriage Will be Legal in Costa Rica on May 26

Back on 2018 the Constitution Court in Costa Rica had pronounced itself on same sex marriage in the country and domestic partnership between same sex couples declaring unconstitutional the articles that forbidden same sex marriage, the Court also adhered to the advisory opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights which stated that same sex couples should be recognized and guaranteed. Th...

Real Estate Lien, Property Liens Costa Rica Everything You Need to Know About Property Liens in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the main asset for most people is still real estate (Property). Productive farms, raw land suitable for development, lots, houses, buildings, tourist buildings and similar are negotiated, developed, transferred, mortgaged, and given in trust on a daily basis. This in turn generates legal conflicts of all kinds: claims for breach of contracts, boundaries, access, unmatching cadaster ...

Costa Rica LGBTI Rights Costa Rican Lawmakers Attempt to Block Gay Marriage one Last Time

In August 2018, Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court voted to legalize gay marriage, making Costa Rica the first country in Central America to recognize the right of same sex couples to marry. The ruling is supposed to take effect in ten days on May 26th, a deadline which brought members of the National Liberation Party (PLN) into a brief fist fight on Tuesday. Enrique Sanchez, Costa Rica’s first ...

Moving to Costa Rica Get Your Residency Application in as Everyone Wants to Move to Costa Rica

By Laura Gutierrez of Immigration Help Costa Rica Based on many recent communications from clients stuck outside or inside Costa Rica, it seems that the most common ailment out there is Cabin Fever. The #1 request is about the lifting of travel restrictions in or out of Costa Rica. It is interesting and very telling that those “stuck” in Costa Rica seem more comfortable with that situation than...

Corporation, Costa Rica, Shareholder, legal books Stockholders and Board of Directors Meetings can now Happen Virtually in Costa Rica

All corporations and limited liability companies in Costa Rica are required to have legal books. Corporations or SAs are required to have three books as follows: 1. General Assembly to keep the minutes of shareholder meetings, including all decisions to amend the original articles of incorporation by changing the corporate structure, legal address, raising capital stock, granting powers of attorne...

Costa Rica Labow Law COVID-19 Changes Labor Laws Between Employers and Employees in Costa Rica

The infamous COVID-19 has caused not only a global health emergency but has also had a severe and negative impact on the economy. To mitigate the impact on the finances of employers, two regulations were approved over the recent days that are unprecedented in our country. The first regulation is called Temporary Suspension of the Employment Contract and is issued by the Ministry of Labor. The seco...

Immigration Costa Rica, Expats, Americans, Canadians Why Bother Getting Your Costa Rican Residency

You’ve chosen to live in Costa Rica for many good reasons, not the least of which being the breathtaking beauty, amazing weather and an idyllic life measurably better than the one you left behind. By now, you have also heard a common refrain from your realtor or other engaged professionals, neighbors, or experienced ex-pats here in Costa Rica: Get your residency! Why? There simply is no othe...

What to do if the Government Dissolves Your Corporation in Costa Rica

In 2012 law #9024 named 'Impuesto a las Personas Juridicas" or "Tax on Corporations" came into effect. It was an annual tax on all corporations registered at National Registry based on the Code of Commerce such as SAs and LLCs plus all of those branches of foreigner corporations that obtained a corporate ID number for their Costa Rican divisions. It was in effect until 2015. It contained provision...

La Reina Del Sur Costa Rica La Reina Del Sur: Who Will Fill the Shoes While Incarcerated in Costa Rica

This is the fifth installment of The Costa Rica Star’s exclusives six part original series of the upcoming book, “Drug Diva”, by Carol Vaughn the story of one of Central America’s fiercest female narco-traffickers, Cristel Gomez Espinoza. You can read our previous published first installment here , the second installment here third installment here and fourth here. Cristel Yariella Gomez Espino...

new Laws for corporations in costa rica New Regulations and Fines for Corporations in Costa Rica Take Effect

In a previous article we published on July 5th, 2019 we explained about the creation of a "Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries", which made becoming necessary to report to the Central Bank of Costa Rica who the stockholders on every corporation existing in Costa Rica are. A calendar was established depending on the last number of Corporate ID number, between September 2019 and January...

Helpful Legal Tips for Real Estate Ownership in Costa Rica

When a person acquires property in Costa Rica, he or she usually performs due diligence through different advisors such as lawyers, engineers, surveyors or a home inspector. The goal is to discover the existence of possible problems related to the plot map, the title, the adjacent properties or the house itself. However, problems can always arise despite this due diligence and the possibility of e...

Costa Rica, Domestic Violence Everything you Need to Know About Domestic Violence Laws in Costa Rica

Since 1996 in Costa Rica there has been a Law Against Domestic Violence (Law #7586), which has many aspects that are important to understand in detail. When writing this article we had the collaboration of Melissa Salazar, an attorney specializing in Family Law. According to Mrs Salazar, there are various types of violence: physical, psychological, sexual and also over the assets of a person, comm...

Costa Rica Airport Surprise Ending for Two Americans Arrested on Thanksgiving at SJO Airport in Costa Rica

On Thanksgiving, two American citizens were detained at Juan Santamaria Airport under suspicion of money laundering. Their names are Collin Andrew Skees (25) and Benjamin Edward Howze (41). They were traveling to the United States with $644,344 in clean bills, wrapped like drugs are often smuggled, in layers of plastic, all tucked among clean changes of underwear for Skees and Howze, in their carr...

National Park Costa RIca New Law in Costa Rica Could Cause Problems for Beach Front Property Owners

In a previous article we wrote about a new regulation that took effect during September 2019. Basically, every type of corporation in Costa Rica is enforced to disclose who are the stockholders to Central Bank of Costa Rica. This will take place between September 2019 and January 2020, depending on the last ID number on the “cedula juridica”. If the owner of the stock on a corporation are other co...

Foreigners Work Costa Rica New Regulation in Costa Rica Will Allow Foreigners to Work While Their Residency Application is Approved

A reform to the Immigration Control Regulation, promoted by the Costa Rican Promotion Investment Agency (CINDE), the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex),together with the General Direction of Immigration, will allow foreigners, who are in the process of approval of residence procedures, the opportunity to work while the application is being resolved. Decree No. 41890-MGP represents a huge advance...

Illegal Immigration, President Trump How Illegal Immigration to the USA Affects Costa Rican Immigration Policies

“What bloody business has the USA to do with the Costa Rican immigration policies on border crossings?” - Posted reaction to a recent article published in TCRS (The Costa Rica Star) The answer: Plenty. The Bigger Picture: The issue is not just about border runners seeking to stay under the radar as Perpetual Tourists, or those needing to keep their foreign driver's licenses valid. Those con...

Immigration Costa Rica, Expats, Americans, Canadians The Million Dollar Question: Can I Apply for Costa Rican Residency on my own

A significant number of ex-pats have lived in Costa Rica for many years. But for various reasons, they have put off getting their residency. Others have just arrived or will be very soon. For some, here is the big, save-a-buck question: Can I apply for Costa Rica Residency on my own? The short answer is yes. But likely not a very good idea. It is similar to filling out your tax returns. Most...

Work from Home Law Costa Rica Costa Rica Work From Home Bill Signed Into Law

President Carlos Alvarado has officially signed the work-from-home bill into law, which allows telecommuting as an alternative work arrangement for employees in the public and private sector. The new law sets the standards for the work from home policy, strengthening Costa Rica’s competitiveness to develop business and Foreign Direct Investment. The Congress passed the 21.141 bill on August ...

Costa Rica Firearms Ministry of Security in Costa Rica Request Investigation of Psychologists for Gun Permits

Authorities of the Ministry of Public Security filed a report to the prosecutors of the Association of Professional Psychologists requesting them to investigate a group of psychologists that are in charge of applying suitability evaluations to those requesting a license to own a gun. According to the Ministry of Security, several psychologists are issuing a significant number of tests in the sy...

Immigration Costa Rica, Expats, Americans, Canadians The 4 Main Categories When Applying for Your Residency in Costa Rica

We will assume that the readers of this article are conscientious individuals who have come to the realization that life in Costa Rica is best lived as a legal resident. You have also read previous articles about the folly of perpetual tourism. (Border runs as a way of living under the radar.) It also assumes 95% of you will be from the U.S., Canada, or the E.U. This article covers the four mos...

new Laws for corporations in costa rica Solutions to the Shareholder Law Taking Effect September 2019 in Costa Rica

In a previous article which can be read here, we spoke about the new coming regulations taking effect starting September 1st, 2019. Basically, every type of corporation in Costa Rica must proceed informing to Central Bank of Costa Rica who their stockholders are, in order to report who the final Beneficiaries are of the said business. This obligation is to be fulfilled by the President on SA co...

Immigration Costa Rica, Expats, Americans, Canadians Everything you Need to Know About Getting Your Residency in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Residency for Expats 101: Most Costa Rica residency applicants start off surfing the net for any articles they can find on the subject, particularly on Google where most of the results stem from sites with paid ads. Once devouring that information, some, unfortunately, think it safe to go it alone. If they speak Spanish, they currently have a 20% chance of success accompanied by off ...

Costa Rica, Perpetual Tourism, Border Runs, Expats Getting Your Residency Vs Border Runs in Costa Rica

To run or not to run that is the question: Border Running is the practice of traveling to either the Panama or Nicaragua border for the sole purpose of obtaining a new 90 visa stamp on one's passport as an economical alternative to returning to one's home country for the same reason. In and out and back to Costa Rica within 60 – 90 minutes. (Those who specifically go to shop for cheap goods, mu...

new Laws for corporations in costa rica Reporting Stockholders for Every Corporation in Costa Rica

In December 2016, a law called the "Law to Improve the Fight against Tax Fraud" was published, which in turn created a Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries, under the responsibility of the Central Bank of Costa Rica. The concept of "anonymous" corporations disappeared, because although the Registry is not publicly accessible, it will be accessible tax, judicial, public security and oth...

Costa Rica Legal Information Learn About Evictions Without a Court Order in Costa Rica

The term eviction can be defined as the action of expelling a person from land, a building, a house, etc., by legal process as well as the action of recovering a property by virtue of superior legal title. This word immediately brings to mind the necessity of a legal process in Court to get a decree permitting the eviction. The most common examples of evictions in Costa Rica are for tenants who ge...

Mexican Cartel, Drugs, Costa Rica 20 Million USD Reward for Number Ten on the FBI’s Most Wanted List Hiding in Costa Rica

A Mexican with strong ties to Costa Rica and a 20-million dollar bounty on his head, Rafael Caro Quintero, is now #10 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List – and may well be hiding in Costa Rica where he has strong connections and many cartel friends. Quintero is wanted for the murder of Drug Enforcement Agent (DEA) Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, in July of 1985, as well as charges of drug trafficking, kidnappi...

Last will and testament, Costa Rica. Will, Estate Planning,legal advice, lawyer Everything You need to Know About Planning Your Will in Costa Rica

All expats living in Costa Rica part or full time that have investments in the country should take in consideration what will happen in case they die. Making plans regarding this difficult topic could avoid leaving legal swamps fo your loved ones. People always expect to live as long as possible, but certainly an accident or unexpected disease could suddenly change everything. The legal document t...

Everything you Need to know About the Landlord and Tenant act in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica there is a law governing the relationships between the Landlord and Tenant for two specific situations: 1) When renting houses, apartments or condos 2) When renting a property for commercial, industrial or professional purposes. This Rental Law has been in effect since 1995, with only a few amendments since then. It has a number of different rules for similar situations, so kno...

Cutting The Red Tape: How to Obtain Certifications at the National Registry in Costa Rica

A notary at your home: For years the National Registry has offered to the public information from all Public Registries such as Property, Vehicles, Boats, Corporations and Lot Plans on the website www.rnpdigital.com . This information is exclusively for consultation purposes since only certifications obtained from Registry offices or issued by a Notary can be used as valid documents to submit t...

How to be Exempted From Luxury Home Tax in Costa Rica

By law #8683 was a created to implement a Luxury Home Tax for all houses in Costa Rica where the construction has a value higher than one hundred million colons (approximate USD $200,000.00). All owners with a luxury home were enforced to submit a value statement in 2010 that would be valid for three years. The tax Ministry created a value database with the parameters to calculate the proper value...

How to get Your Drivers License and RTV in Costa Rica

Validation of a Foreign Driver’s License in Costa Rica.  Those foreigners staying in the country for more than 3 months and wanting to drive a car are required by law to obtain a Costa Rican driver’s license. They can validate the license of their country of origin by fulfilling the following requirements: Must be over the age of 18. Proof of legal residency, through residency card, work p...